Jackson Sinnenberg, writing at Medium:
When we were doing the designs for merch I was like “I don’t care what I like. What do we think the people who come to our shows will like?” That’s what it should be! It’s not about me. I’m happy to be there, I’m not going to be phoning it in! I’m happy about giving it to them. I don’t look at it like it’s a bad thing. I’m happy there are people there to take it. Like if you asked Ian [MacKaye] the same way how he felt about Fugazi; “Whose band is Fugazi right now?” I bet Ian would say “Not mine, Not Guy’s. It’s their band.” It is! It’s their band! They’re maintaining the house, they’re trimming the garden because their memories do it. It’s become part of their lives now. So, it’s hands off for me.
We’ve been angered and saddened to hear reports of sexual assault and harassment in the audience at our shows. From the very beginning of this band, we have strived to create a positive and safe environment for our fans and this kind of abhorrent behavior can not and will not be tolerated at our shows. It’s clear that this disturbing trend is on the rise in our industry, and that ignoring or dismissing the problem sends a very clear message to perpetrators that they can get away with their behavior. As a result, we want to help to shine a light on the issue and ask our fans to do the same.
We’ve reached out to the authorities and the venues that were involved in these incidents.
There are a number of amazing organizations raising awareness and providing education around this problem, including Safe Gigs For Women.
If you see something please say something, get involved, and help however you can. We want everyone looking out for each other.
Over the course of the past 10 years, few albums from the 2000s have stuck with me quite like The ’59 Sound. One of the undeniable truths of being a consummate life soundtracker is that most of your favorite albums end up being inextricably linked to certain periods of time. You play those records so much when they’re new to you that they become a collage of moments and memories from your life. It’s a beautiful thing when that happens, but it also tends to mean your favorite LPs eventually fall out of regular rotation, as you reach for new music to play that role for new moments and memories. Most of my favorite albums fit into this category. My other 2008 classics—records like Butch Walker’s Sycamore Meadows and Jack’s Mannequin’s The Glass Passenger—are albums I revisit only every month or two, not because I don’t love them, but because they hold so many pieces of my past self within their songs. Those albums could never be life soundtracks to me today, because they already played that role at such vivid and crucial junctures of my life.
The ’59 Sound is different. It’s the rare “favorite record” in my life that isn’t tied to any one specific moment or season or year. It’s a record that has grown with me over time, one that has meant a dozen different things to me from one year to the next. Where other records I loved back then have drifted more into the background, The ’59 Sound is a record I’ve played regularly—probably once every couple weeks, at least—for the better part of the past decade. A part of the reason is probably my initial indifference to the album. The ’59 Sound got a lot of hype in 2008, but my first listens told me it was something dated and backwards-looking: songs stuck in the past that didn’t have relevance to my present. (Note: this opinion is my worst first impression of all time.) Because I was never infatuated with this album like I was with many of the LPs that came out around the same time, I never “wore it out” in the same way.
The intangible thing of “The ’59 Sound,” it didn’t mean anything about the ’50s. I didn’t imagine people banging on jukeboxes and Fonzie and all that. I’m not interested in any of that. To me, it reminded me of my grandmother and a time where simpler things were valued more. Friendships, relationships, and that kind of thing. There weren’t so many distractions. You didn’t have so many goals. Now, a kid grows up, and he could be anything. That’s great, but it’s also very daunting. Because which one of the anythings do you be?
I wasn’t sure which was my favorite record, but Handwritten was definitely a contender. Handwritten is one where the whole band was firing on all cylinders. We accepted our place in the world, we were playing in front of a lot of people, and there were a lot of people watching us. So we were just writing a record that was a good, fun record to listen to.
He was conscious, he seems keen to say, of the expectation that weighs on an artist making their second album: “When you do a second record, you have to sort of firm up what you’re gonna do. You’ve gotta be like, ‘Am I doing this kind of music? Or am I doing this kind of music?’” He explains further: “The first record that people do, you get a little leeway. You get like, ‘Oh! He tried some weird stuff, that’s cool.’ But then with the next one they’ve expected you to figure it out.”
“Whenever someone mentions a record, that’s when I step away. And the reason for that is because right now, I can’t see what a new Gaslight record would sound like. When you take the records that we’ve done that I’m very proud of – and I’m proud of all of them, even the later ones – I don’t know what I would add to that right now.”
We had call, and we were just like, ‘Hey, are we gonna just ignore this?’ I know we’re on hiatus — we’re not doing anything, everybody’s off doing their own thing, and everybody’s fine. But if we let this go, that says something. That would come across as apathetic to me. I was like, ‘I don’t feel apathetic about this. How do you guys feel?’ They didn’t feel apathetic at all. They felt like, yeah, we should probably do something.
Then we thought, ‘if we play some shows, what happens? Do we have to start the whole thing up again?’ What realized, well, no, because of this record, we can do what we did in the beginning, which is [anything] we wanted.
Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem joins us to kick off our second series, Critical Acclaim. Here, we explore how musicians, critics, and the people who fall into both cambs deal with music journalists, harsh reviews, and constant online criticism.
I really enjoyed this episode. If you’re a fan of The Gaslight Anthem, it’s definitely worth a listen.
“My goal used to be Bruce Springsteen’s career, being that famous and playing arenas. I don’t care about writing for that now. I’m just writing for me and having a good time. Now my goal is I just want to live a long time and I want to be like Wilco. I don’t know if Wilco’s ever had a top 40 hit, but they play to a lot of people and they do whatever they want. They change and they develop, I love that band’s career so God bless Jeff Tweedy.”